GenCon!

It’s GenCon-eve and the gaming stink starts tomorrow! Whoop! I’m off to play Fantasy Flight’s new game Descent, check out the new Axis and Allies Miniatures, play Spycraft 2.0 and get as much swag as possible. Oh, and that new game Rocketmen: Axis of Evil looks interesting.

Any other folks going? Indy is expecting 75,000 gaming geeks this year. Wow!

I passed thru Milwaukee today and had a beer in salute to GenCon’s past :(

Hope you have fun!

I’d love to hear about Descent! Please give your impressions if you have the time. Don’t forget to check out the massive War of the Ring setup!

Saw Rocketmen at ComicCon. Very similar to Pirates of the Spanish Main with the addition of multiple actions per turn and pods that act as sails but either as shields or lasers.

So jealous!

So many games there I want to see how they play!

Please put up some impressions here about the 2nd Ed Runebound, A&A mini ect!

Demo for A&A mini here btw: http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/aam_demo/aamdemo.asp

Also if those who visit come across some fun and quickplaying 2-player games, I’m looking to get some more.

When I was a kid I saw Richard Garriot in full Lord British regalia at GenCon. I was absolutely speechless. I was in awe.

Don’t tell my girlfriend.

Bub wrote a great article about GenCon a couple of years back. I’d link to it if I could find it, it starts by trying to describe the smell.

If he wasn’t banned he’d probably be pimping it. Hmmm…

The best part was the ocean of fannypacks.

Ocean of fannypacks and a sea of Pikacthulu tshirts.

As much as I refused to identify with the majority of the crowd, I did like having the convention here. The dealer’s hall was insane. So much bootlegged toys and anime and other nerdly videos! Not to mention they always had anime and asian cinema screening rooms. It was easy to spend a good day there for someone not at all interested in table-top gaming.

Don’t forget the Larpers traipsing about.

Oh, and the one hot girl.

IF
Goth_Chicks = Func_Attractive(you)
THEN
Hot_Chicks > 1

This is going to be like the first year I’m not going to GenCon in the past ten years. I really do miss Milwaukee as it was a 2 hour ride. Could head out in the morning, hang out a few hours after the hall closed and head home if I could only spend a day there.

It’s like a 4 hour ride now from Chicago, which really makes it hard to just do a day. My biggest gript about Indie is the Great Hall. While it’s supposed to provide more room, it’s just set up all wrong and makes it hard to traverse the floor, aisle by aisle when you are doing your first pass through (which takes a day in itself when you want to shop and playtest).

Someone who does go, give a recap.
I’d be interested in what I missed.

Expensive food. Crowds. Long Lines. Computer Viruses. Stench.
Can’t forget the Saturday stench.

Div

yeah, for anyone who hasn’t gone and is considering going tomorrow, go roll around in some mud, get a cardboard box big enough for you and a friend, load it full of taco bell and miller light, get in, shut the box, eat the tacos, drink the beer, and marinate.

For those who attended, anything interesting for video or computer games, or all cards & pen-paper games this year?

In particular, anything Tom Wham-ish?

There seemed to be more females this year. A story in the Indy Star quoted the Gen Con owner claiming 25%, which I think is way overboard, but I do think their numbers were up.

More than 1 attractive one too, ya haters.

Supposedly the limited edition Settlers of Catan (handpainted 3D board/pieces) is going to run $380. Yowza.

It’s fun just walking around and playing demo’s everywhere. No game blew me away, though.

Ah, Descent! Our game lasted 4 hours (4 adventurers, 1 Overlord). I played the Overlord - you know, because nobody else wanted to. But we had a wonderful time. The game bits are fabulous - huge plastic miniatures (the giant is like 4" tall), tons of chits, great card stock and a set of connectable board pieces to make up your dungeon. The game comes with (I think) seven scenarios - we played number seven. I can easily see tons of people making their own for download. The game just screams for exansions of this sort. The Fantasy Flight guy said some scenarios only last 120 minutes or so. It clearly depends on the number of players.

The Overlord plays cards on his turn - that causes traps to fire, brings in more monsters, gives bonuses to future attacks, and things like that. Your limited by threat points, but you gain a point for every adventurer every turn. You can also discard cards for additional points - and you can discard at any time (some cards are played when an adventurer moves for example, so you can discard enough to make that card playable). And the Overlord wins when the adventurers lose all their conquest tokens (they start with a certain amount based on the scenario).

Anyhow, it was great to play! I guess it’s very similar to their Doom boardgame which I’ve never played. I as the Overlord won handily. I asked the other players if they thought there was any way for them to win and they thought they could if they had worked together better. But really, I pounded them with monsters and traps - they only got through two areas before they were out of conquest tokens.

The only thing that stopped me from buying a copy (they had 144 for sale at GenCon - they sold out) was the $80 price tag. A bit steep for what was really just a dungeon hack game. Admittedly, the quality of the components and wonderful game mechanics almost justify the price. But still, $80? I’d have to play it a dozen times or more. Maybe so in my younger days when I played almost every day. But now I only play once every two weeks or so - and then only for 2 hrs.

Still, great fun!

Thank you for your impressions, I appreciate it!

In return, have you tried this out?

http://www.thoughthammer.com/

They are going to have Descent for 51 plus shipping, which seems rather more reasonable. I’m almost surely going to get it at that price. Any more details you wanna share? I’m all ears :D

That is certainly a better price. But beware of shipping: the box weighs an impressive 9 lbs!

As for more details, another great mechanic in the game is how it scales the difficulty based on the number of players. They do this by having different levels of monsters. Each monster and level has it’s own reference card - so the Overlord’s job is made much easier. And the monsters have very cool special abilities. For example, the Master Sorcerer has ‘Undying’ - if he gets killed, the Overlord rolls a die and if it comes up with a surge (a lightning bolt symbo), the monster comes right back to life! This happened like 3 times with one of my Master Sorcerers. Spiders have poison and web, Hellhounds have a cone of fire - it just goes on and on.

The scenarios are cool too. The one we played had a magic sword that had to be used to kill the final foozle. Only the sword drained 25% of the wielder’s health each turn he didn’t deal a killing blow to a monster! That set the delvers back a step or two. But as the continued to play, they unlocked seals that made the weapon more powerful. And further, the scenarios had flavor text to read for each area - just like a D&D module. The whole thing made me grin.

That is certainly a better price. But beware of shipping: the box weighs an impressive 9 lbs!
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Shipping from Thoughthammer is a flat $10/order, sez the guy who just bought Twilight Imperium from them.

It’s only $3.50 more to split your order, which I had to do since the other half of my order won’t be out until October.

Guess I’ll be picking up this one as well. I’m very interested in the campaign/character growth stuff…